2020 July 9

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Anti-Corruption Daily

Jul/9/2020 news: () Tsarukyan's casino loses license () Gold mine in trouble () Solar incoming () Anti-bribery () TEAM licensed () BHK & Traditions () Foreign affairs () Diplomatic passports () Artsakh () Rebel arrested () Emergency powers () Yandex helps Yerevan () Finances () Construction QA ()
by ar_david_hh


In case you missed yesterday's important news:

https://www.reddit.com/r/armenia/comments/hnp6ti/jul82020_news_1_echr_rejects_judges_plea_2_making/?

BHK leader Tsarukyan's casino loses license

In May/6/2020, before the "big bust" that got BHK leader Tsarukyan in trouble, the regulators had audited his Shangri La casino and found violations. The Casino was given time to fix the problems.

Later, after Tsarukyan's alleged voter bribery and financial crimes were revealed, his casino was implicated in a criminal case.

Today the Finance Ministry revoked the casino's license for failing to pay fees for 2020Q3.

https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/192177

Regulators audited BHK leader Tsarukyan's gold mine...

... located in Mkhart, and issued a $200 fine for operating without an environmental audit. The mine and its factory are told to get an audit.

https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/192166

Regulators audited the Electric Networks of Armenia...

... and issued a $21,000 fine. The company routinely overcharged consumers by writing higher usage numbers in the books, likely due to an error. Other problems were found.

https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/192145

BHK plans to "defend Armenia's traditions"

BHK leader Tsarukyan has instructed BHK's youth wing to organize a campaign against the upcoming Education Ministry reform that will merge Armenian Church subject with Armenian History in schools.

Tsarukyan called it an attack on Armenian values. The Ministry says having it as a separate subject makes no sense, but schools will have flexibility.

--

BHK will also protest against the upcoming education reforms that will help children better protect themselves against pedophiles.

BHK and other hardline traditionalists believe it'll teach sexual materials to children. The govt denies it, saying the education is more like "don't take candy from a stranger's van".

https://news.am/arm/news/590348.html

Diplomatic passports

After the 2018 evolution, it was revealed that the former administrations generously distributed diplomatic passports to their friends. Kocharyan's and Serj's entire family line, singer Sirusho, grandchildren, etc. received the privilege.

After the evolution, 395 such passports were revoked, while 762 new were issued.

--

The full list of owners is still considered a secret because "it contains classified information". Journalists want to get their hands on the list to make sure MFA isn't doing the same shenanigans.

MFA responded saying "the passports were issued according to law."

https://factor.am/267065.html

Greece...

...doesn't like the fact that Turkey's Erdogan wants to convert the Hagia Sophia museum-church into a mosque.

Greek politicians proposed converting Ataturk's house-museum in Thessaloniki into a museum dedicated to the Greek Genocide.

The Hagio Sophia's topic was brought up in the Armenian Parliament today, with an MP expressing his dissatisfaction.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1021147.html

stirring the pot in 3... 2... 1...

System of a Down drummer Dolmayan caused some noise after criticizing the "Black Lives Matter" movement on his Instagram page. He isn't happy with the "media coverage, sensationalism, and the riots."

Possible context: The recent defacement of an Armenian Genocide Memorial in Colorado has rubbed some Armenians the wrong way. It was addressed by the White House.

http://www.panarmenian.net/arm/news/282793/

CNN documentary: What it's like to visit a country [Artsakh] that doesn't officially exist

https://edition.cnn.com/travel/article/visit-country-that-doesnt-exist/index.html

COVID stats

+1,995 tested. +526 infected. +573 healed. +14 deaths.

129,166 tested. 11,641 active. 18,000 healed. 535 deaths.

--

There are no patients in serious condition left out of hospitals, but the beds are still overloaded. Spitak's clinic joined the fight and all 120 beds are already occupied.

https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/192150 , https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/192161

"Armenia is turning into a dictatorship"

Breaking news. The govt has approved a bill that will grant the Healthcare Ministry a full authority over all private and public medical centers across Armenia during Emergency situations.

"It's needed to make the fight against pandemic more efficient," said the govt. The bill needs Parliamentary approval.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1021190.html

Rebel leader is captured during a tense standoff

A young woman had a confrontation with a policeman about COVID rules. It appears she didn't have an ID on her, attempted to leave the scene, and when told about ID's requirement, she said, "I don't care about the law and the Emergency Taskforce's order."

The police dragged her to a police station while she screamed.

https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=355693375398332 , https://youtu.be/zTAoVuBzEU8

Yerevan municipality will distribute...

$206,000 to doctors fighting COVID. It'll come from city's "salary bonus" fund.

https://factor.am/267474.html

COVID vs Tax Collection

Taxes collected in 2020H1 vs 2019H1...

Tax revenues: $1,4bln vs $1.47bln

Border tariffs: $254mln vs $330mln

Refunded: $134mln vs $104mln

https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/192160

Armenia's foreign and public debt

The debt as of January 1st of 2020 vs 2019...

Foreign: $5.7bln vs $5.5bln

Internal: $1.7bln vs $1.4bln

The debt to GDP ratio is expected to rise due to COVID. It was earlier predicted at 57%.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1021116.html

New rules to reduce corruption in social aid departments

Right now the same public office accepts petitions for aid submitted by seniors, before deciding whether grant it. This opens the door for corruption. Some workers would ask for a bribe to approve the aid.

The govt decided to separate the decision-makers.

https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/192025

Elevator Made in Armenia

Norq hospital has a new elevator manufactured locally by ArtLifs.

https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/192171

The new TEAM ISP gets a license

The utility commission authorized TEAM to broadcast TV and radio over cable.

TEAM was formed after UCOM's founder left UCOM and founded TEAM.

https://hetq.am/hy/article/119212

Monitoring the construction quality

Gegharquniq had 103 subsidized infrastructure upgrades last year. 23 were unfinished because the govt refused to accept them due to poor quality.

5 of them were road repair upgrades, 4 of which have since fixed the problems.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1021175.html

Tax waiver for a winemaker

Armenia Wine will import technology for winemaking in Aragatsotn. $3.3mln investment, 40 new jobs with avg $520/mo salary.

https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/192168

Tax waiver for a solar farm investment

SunEnergy will import solar tech for a farm in Armavir. $2.2mln investment, 5 permanent and 50 temporary jobs, $225/mo salary.

https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/192168

Electric grid to prepare a network for solar energy

Today the govt authorized the "High Voltage Electric Networks" to sign an $8.9mln deal with Lichq electric substation.

The company will repair Lichq substation which has been operating since 1961.

--

The repair will allow Lichq to handle electricity coming from a big solar farm "Masrik-1" recently approved by the govt.

It'll also boost Artsakh's electric security.

--

"We must make sure Lichq is ready before Masrik solar farm is ready. Armenia is required to purchase electricity produced by Masrik as part of the deal. Lichq will handle that flow. We can finish Lichq's renovation in 8 months," said Pashinyan.

https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/192174 , https://factor.am/267280.html

Russian tech giant and UN to help Yerevan w/traffic

Yandex tech giant's experts have been examining traffic in Yerevan center, near the Circular Park, to see how traffic patterns change based on location, time, holidays.

Several roads were examined. Some had 45km/h speed one way, but much slower in the opposite direction. Isahakyan Street was the slowest with speeds dropping to 4km/h.

Yandex's data is sent to two Russia-based companies for a further examination before it's sent to Yerevan municipality.

https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/192182

400km roads will be built in Artsakh...

...in 5 years, said president Arayik.

https://factor.am/267319.html

More inclusive education system

USAID gave the Education Ministry $825,000 for a project. Fewer disabled kids will be left out of schools and be forced to attend special centers away from peers or families.

Disability ramps will be built in some schools. 56 schools will be renovated with accommodations.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1021107.html

Pashinyan's son returns from the army

It's been 2 years since the 2018 evolution and PM's subsequent decision to send his son Ashot to Artsakh frontlines.

Saying goodbye to fellows: https://youtu.be/He2SmsIynJ8

Little Arpi waits for his brother: https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=276473180108549

update: Where to find Nalbandyan books

Recently the American University of Armenia digitalizes the legendary writer Mikael Nalbandyan's entire collection.

The collection is available at digilib.am

http://digilib.aua.am/am/ՆԱԼԲԱՆԴԵԱՆ%20ՄԻՔԱՅԷԼ/library/2300

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1021075.html

Tag: /u/T0ManyTakenUsernames

Henrikh Mkhitaryan is officially back

Last time he scored a goal but the team lost. This time, while playing against Parma, he scored a goal and gave a pass that led to the second and victorious goal. Roma 2:1 Parma.

Sofa Score declared Heno the best player of the entire match with an 8.8 score.

https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/192152

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You've read 1315 words.


Link to original report and comments: https://www.reddit.com/r/armenia/comments/ho8tgs/jul92020_news_tsarukyans_casino_loses_license/

Disclaimer: All the accused are innocent until proven guilty by the court of law, even if they may sound as being guilty. Currency in Armenian Drams ֏ unless specified otherwise. Helpful overview of Armenia's media ownership and leanings.


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